Hailing from the vibrant metal scene of Central Florida, Grieve emerges as a formidable force in the heavy music landscape. This five-piece American metalcore act skillfully combines elements of modern hardcore, deathcore, and progressive metal to craft a distinct and sonically diverse sound.
With their punishing and dissonant riffs courtesy of guitarists Evan Draper and Tommy Henthorne, rock-solid grooves delivered by bassist Michele Becker and drummer Ian Currie, and the unrelenting vocals of frontman Scott Ellis, Grieve stands out as a unique contributor to the new wave of metalcore.
Presenting their latest offering, “Sick Together,” Grieve explores a more sinister facet of their musical prowess. This savage single seamlessly blends the chugging, chromatic chaos reminiscent of deathcore with infectious and bouncy grooves that have the power to ignite any crowd into a frenzy.
Frontman Scott Ellis delves into the depths of his past, drawing inspiration from the darkest corners of his experiences to fuel his ferocious vocal performance on this track.
“Sick Together” serves as the final precursor to Grieve’s forthcoming EP, “Bound to the Hurt,” set to be released on July 14th across all major streaming platforms.
In our interview below, the band discussed their influences, creative process, and plans for the future.
Vocalist Scott Ellis reflected on the Florida metal scene and how it inspired the band’s blend of low and slow heaviness with dark atmospheres and nu-metal influences. Guitarist Evan Draper added that Grieve embraces a progressive metal sound, incorporating elements from various genres, such as hardcore, djent, and metalcore.
The band shared insights into the making of their latest single, “Sick Together,” which explores a more ominous and structured sound compared to their previous work. The song delves into themes of toxicity and the shared sickness within humanity.
Looking ahead, Grieve envisions their sound evolving into something more emotional, cohesive, and experimental, drawing inspiration from bands like Knocked Loose.
The band also expressed gratitude for the Central Florida music scene and memorable shows that influenced their live performances and writing.
With plans for upcoming shows and the release of their EP, “Bound to the Hurt,” Grieve continues to bring intense energy to the stage and looks forward to future releases.
Central Florida has a rich and diverse music scene. How has being part of this local community influenced your sound, and what do you believe sets Grieve apart from other bands in the region?
Scott E. (Vocals): When I first entered the scene in 2012, I was still getting into the world of heavy music. The Florida scene was alive and thriving with local shows, packing out wall to wall. Florida is home to some low and slow heavy hitters like Traitors, Bodysnatcher and Dealey Plaza; the influence wasn’t hard to find scrolling down Chugcore. At the inception of Grieve, we of course wanted to represent our home style and keep with the low and slow but we also wanted to do something a little different. At the time, the whole band (myself, maybe a bit excessively) were really into the Illinois scene and what bands like Sworn In, Yuth Forever and Barrier were doing, but we added a layer of dark atmosphere and nu-metal influences.
Evan D. (Guitar): Nowadays, I think what sets us apart in our scene is that we’re not afraid to stray from the sound we initially established. What was introduced as a blend of deathcore and nu-metal has kind of soaked up parts of metalcore, hardcore, and even djent.
With your latest single, “Sick Together,” you’ve delved into a darker, more sinister aspect of your sound. What inspired this exploration, and how does it reflect your growth as a band since your inception?
Evan: In the past, instrumentally, we’ve tried to strike a balance between heavy and groove. We keep things pretty fast paced and fun, and often I’ll see people grin when a big riff comes in. With “Sick Together”, we wanted to create a soundscape that felt huge and ominous. We wanted it to be genuinely scary and dark. It’s also more traditionally structured than some of our other songs, which is something we’ve leaned into lately.
Your music incorporates a unique blend of Modern Hardcore, Deathcore, and Progressive elements. How do you navigate these genres and balance their different characteristics when creating your music?
Evan: I grew up listening to a lot of Prog/Djent bands. Groups like Periphery, Tesseract, The Contortionist, and Haken are still my go-to’s. When I joined Grieve in 2020, I really wanted to continue what they had established sonically, while fusing it with the progressive metal sound that I’m inspired by. So we’ll have a fast hardcore riff, a clamped down djenty riff with ambient leads, and a nasty slam breakdown all in one song. I’ve actually seen someone on YouTube say “I feel like they just combined every core subgenre into one song.”
Could you share more about the creative process behind “Sick Together” and how it relates to the themes and concepts explored throughout your upcoming EP, Bound to the Hurt?
Evan: As with most of our songs, the instrumental came first, and the lyrics/vocals were written after. I remember working on another song and having a really bad writer’s block. I threw a super old unused riff of mine into the song just to see if it fit. It was at a faster tempo, and it sounded really cool! I actually deleted the rest of the song, and started over with that old riff as the intro. Once it was finished instrumentally, Scott handled the lyrics.
Scott: Sick Together is a song about the toxicity in and around all of us. Especially with social media, nothing is beneath criticism and judgmental looks from others. But we are all guilty, we all judge yet don’t accept the judgment in return. Bound To The Hurt is about the sickness in each of us, whether tied to it by loss, addiction or trauma. In this world we are all jaded, we are all Sick Together.
Scott Ellis, your frontman, has drawn from the dark corners of his past for his vocal performance in “Sick Together.” How does personal experience inform your songwriting and music, and what impact do you hope it has on your listeners?
Scott: Music has always been an escape for me, and in most cases a place where I could always be assured I wasn’t alone in my situation or feelings. That escape was there when I saw no other way, and I am forever grateful for those bands and the words that were there for me. I hope to continue to reach others, like those before me did for me. My personal experiences with abuse and addiction fuel every word you read and every scream you hear, and I hope to help others find the safety net I did so they can scream those words back to me.
As a band that strives to deliver a sonically diverse experience, how do you envision Grieve’s sound evolving in the future, and are there any particular directions or influences you’re eager to explore?
Evan: I see Grieve as a constantly evolving thing. With Bound to the Hurt, we wanted to create a dense EP of heavy tracks. But in the future, we want to explore something more emotional, more cohesive, more experimental. Something that tells a story across all the tracks, and feels more mature. Knocked Loose’s A Tear in the Fabric of Life is something that I’ve been taking inspiration from lately, specifically how they tell the story of that EP lyrically and instrumentally.
The Central Florida music scene is home to many unique venues and events. Are there any local experiences or collaborations that have been particularly memorable or influential in shaping Grieve’s identity as a band?
Evan: I had never actually played a show before joining Grieve. I’d been going to shows for a few years, but I wasn’t part of a band. Our first shows with the new lineup happened in early 2022, when shows were on the comeback. We played back-to-back dates in Tampa/Orlando supporting Distinguisher, Mugshot, and Cell, who were on tour. I’ll never forget those shows. Having a room full of people moshing to your music is an amazing feeling, and the crowd’s response to certain songs/breakdowns has actually influenced my writing since then.
How do you bring the intensity and energy of your music to the stage, and what plans do you have lined up for the rest of the year?
Scott: My stage performance is heavily influenced by ‘00s/early ‘10s live videos of bands like The Chariot, The Devil Wears Prada and Dillinger Escape Plan. When I started attending shows, my desire to be an absolute maniac on stage was only furthered by bands like Chasing Safety, Hail The Sun and Kaonashi. The Florida local scene was also a big contributor as every show was violent and full of energy to feed off of, and once people took notice of my presence I kinda got stuck doing it forever.
Evan: We all try to bring a ton of energy, and it really sells the music. We also strive to play a very tight live set. Ian, our drummer, is a monster behind the kit. We also run backtracks, so you get the ambience, leads, and bass drops that tie it all together. In a live setting, I think it’s important to meet the bar that you set in the recorded track, even if no one in the room knows who you are. As for the rest of our year, we’ve got some shows lined up that will be announced soon. After Bound to the Hurt drops, we’re going to keep writing for the next big release.